I just woke up from a nap and I am struggling to remember/understand this amazing dream I had. It’s like it was so complex that it’s completely over my head. (Dream Caroline is way smart, y’all.)
This girl and I were conducting this sort of experiment that was less about experimentation and more about watching things unfold. Somehow the belongings (specifically a pool and platform/dock structure, but other things, too) of a certain woman (who was like my mother but not quite), were growing into this intricate metaphor for her life. It was terrible and exciting and I felt constantly that everything was about to collapse, and that when it did, things would make sense, but not in a good way. And we vowed not to say anything and just let it happen.
But then things went wrong. The woman started to catch on, and she asked me to tell her what was going on and I didn’t want to ruin the experiment, but I had all this guilt about lying to her. So I started trying to help her understand. I was obsessed with it. I remember saying in a voice so desperate:
"I want to talk about it. It’s the ONLY thing I want to talk about. It’s all I think about!"
I’m beginning to realize that there is a certain kind of loneliness that has nothing to do with being alone. While the natural reaction is to reach out to someone else, this kind of loneliness is actually aggravated by talking to other people. Trying to remedy it through interaction leaves one feeling frustrated and drained, like spending the day at work with a very bad cold.
I like to turn the volume way up and belt this one out on the way to work. It has a kind of old-fashioned romantic intensity about it. If I ever write a screenplay for an epic love story, remind me to include this song on the soundtrack.
I really, really don’t know how to be a grownup, ok? I kind of didn’t realize (care) that it was a BIG DEAL to register your car on time. I got a ticket. And then I tried to pay the ticket online and it told me that it hadn’t been entered into the system yet and they’d email me. (What? You’ll email ME when it’s CONVENIENT for me to pay YOU? I hate this.) And then they never did. So then I registered my car online but didn’t realize I needed to change my address since we had moved. So I paid for a registration that never arrived and my registration is still expired and I haven’t done anything about it. And then I had a low tire, but I figured it would be ok to wait a couple days to put air in it since for the past two days I’ve been leaving for work at 6 AM and getting home around 9:30 PM. (Also, I don’t know how to put air in my tires?) And then it wasn’t ok. This morning I had a flat tire. At that point, honest to god, my first thought was “Fuck it! Who needs tires! I’m driving right now, aren’t I? I’ll just drive to work and deal with it later.”
Also: health insurance? I don’t have any. I need to enroll for benefits with my company in the next two days and I don’t have any idea what the hell I’m doing. I AM the car with three tires. “Fuck it! Who needs insurance? I’m alive right now, aren’t I?”
Sometimes I feel just like Cher in that scene in Clueless where she’s wandering the streets aimlessly in a pair of knee high white socks and a transparent blouse while “All By Myself” plays in the background.
How To Succeed In The Hotel Business Without Really Sleeping
It’s strange how after a couple of 13 hour work days you start to feel a little bit invincible. You have thighs like tree trunks from standing for 8 hours and then lifting and squatting with stacks of dinner plates for another 5. You consider taking on another job. They’re hiring a new bellman? Bring it on! you think.
And then you come home at noon one day and pass out for four hours. You wake up with your contacts stuck in your eyes and wonder if you’re cut out for the working world at all. You consider marrying rich.
“On the whole I am inclined to think that a witch should not kiss. Perhaps it is the not being kissed that makes her a witch; perhaps the source of her power is the breath of loneliness around her. She who takes a kiss can also die of it, can wake into something unimaginable, having turned herself into some new species.”—Emma Donoghue, Kissing the Witch (one of my favorite books)
And he showed me things,
many beautiful things,
that I hadn’t thought to explore.
They were off my path, so I never had dared,
I had been so careful, I never had cared.
And he made me feel excited - well,
excited and scared.
And I know things now,
many valuable things,
that I hadn’t known before.
Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood.
They will not protect you the way that they should.
And take extra care with strangers,
even flowers have their dangers,
and though scary is exciting,
nice is different than good.
So I’m thinking of ditching the party scene tomorrow night. I’ve come to the realization that all I really want to do is eat candy and watch Practical Magic and maybe still wear my costume. I wish I had some girl friends around here who would do that with me.
I am sick of all the sanctimonious folks who consider themselves above reality shows. I always have a hard time explaining what sort of enjoyment I derive from them. Why would I ever watch a show about 15 year old girls orchestrating their own million dollar parties or about bored, dramatic housewives who have too much money, or about women purchasing designer wedding gowns?
On days like today, I like to wind down with a full evening of ‘Say Yes to the Dress’. There are lots of reasons why I watch it. They are the same reasons I watch ‘HOARDERS’. I feel both fascination and recognition, because we are all the teenage boy who won’t vacuum his dog’s hair, and the woman with friends determined to get back at her for making out with the guy they liked five years ago by saying ‘Horrible, Foul Asshole’ with their eyes when she minces out in some brushed satin. Both shows reflect the human condition like nothing else. Not even a Morgan Freeman movie.
‘Say Yes to the Dress’ is about people shopping for wedding dresses in New York. I think that is what it is about. Sometimes it is about mean friends, or passive aggressive mothers, Randy’s Triumph at Miss Gay America 1990, but most of the time it is about dresses and ladies. You present a sales associate with a budget, you try on three dresses and then you buy one. Or you don’t, because you lied about your budget. That is when I most enjoy the show.
“I’m hoping? TO stay under two. But if I love the dress, there is no budget.” So then Keisha goes and pulls you some beautiful gowns and you try them on and the best looking one is the one everybody is all “BUT YOU SAID YOU HATED LACE, ALLISON!” about, and Allison stares at her reflection in the mirror and wonders where her dreams went, as Randy perches a veil on her head and her soon-to-be Sister in Law demands to hold the faux bouquet.
Keisha pulls some more dresses, and Allison pulls them over her hips and is so happy, in the confines of the dressing room and she walks out and you can see her clavicle heaving. “What do you guys think?” She murmurs, and then people just make weird noises and exhale and say things like “I DON’T KNOW, YOU ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT A SIMPLE SILHOUETTE AND THIS IS NOT SIMPLE,” or “I didn’t know you wanted to look like that on your wedding day,” or my favorite - “I don’t think…your body, works with it”.
Allison swallows hard, while her Mother begins to try on the rejected dresses, the ones Allison is not allowed to love, and crows about her slim hips and youthful bosom. “YOU’RE BUILT LIKE YOUR FATHER,” is what her eyes say.
Finally the dress is chosen, usually not by the bride. And everyone is happy, other associates come out to admire and compliment, and then the bride asks how much the dress is. Everyone waits and then the number, usually 500 dollars over the limit, is revealed. “Oh I don’t know,” the bride wails, staring over her shoulder into the mirror and pursing her lips. “I just don’t…I wanted to stay under two.” She usually leaves then, sending a blurry digital picture of a dress she did end up buying a month later to the production assistant who tracked her down, with orders to retrieve the veil her mother wore out of the store.
One day, soon I hope, someone will roll up to Kleinfeld’s and drop the following: “I want fishing lures, I want used Scratch-its, I want stains. I want food detritus. I want back fat, a broken zipper, I want the skeletons of dead birds, delicate beading and a basque waist. I can spend fifteen dollars, and vacuum the show room.”
Her posse will be a local Kindergarten class. That man Olivia bought contraband purses from on The City a couple weeks ago. Charlie, from TRUE LIFE: I’m Getting Married. The entire choir from Sister Act II: Back in the Habit, even though that is a fictional movie from the nineties, that took place in California. Maybe just Jennifer Love Hewitt.
They will swath her with paper napkins, burlap, acid-free tissue paper. Someone will craft a headpiece out of non-dairy creamer cups and SweetNLow wrappers - a veil will be fashioned from a garment bag. She will exit the store surrounded by the associates, a train of toilet paper and shrug made from tampon wrappers. She will stride into her dreams, and I hope TLC is there to capture it all. I will watch it.
I debated posting this because my copy’s not so great and it starts off kind of slow so you probably won’t listen past the beginning, which is a shame. But I’m posting it anyway. I think it’s important to listen to live versions of songs this raw. It took some time to grow on me, but now it just tears me apart.
This is exactly what is sounds like to cry out of frustration until your throat is sore and bang your fists against piano keys.
Maybe I'll Also Read Some of My Book and Watch Half a Movie
It’s cool. I’ll just spend my night off drinking “margaritas” (warm tequila and some mix lazily swished in an iceless glass) and eating months old chocolate covered pretzels and then pass out reading blogs in my bed. This chick can party.
Don’t tell anyone, but sometimes I read the postcards that I mail for people at the hotel. Usually they’re dull, hastily written scribbles that mention events or places around town. Today, however, a man handed me one that was special. I barely glanced at him as he handed it to me, but I let myself read his neatly written postcard as I walked to the back office. It said:
I wish you were here. Time passes incorrectly without you.
It nearly broke my heart. I wish I had looked closer at his face.
I’m starting to think I should probably stop saying words like “blogosphere” in every day conversation. People tend to stare.
I have a walk-in closet filled with beautiful clothes, and yet I spend most afternoons in the top half of my uniform and underwear. This must be what very rich girls who insist on spending their lives in matching velour sweatsuits feel like.
Some people say that ladybugs are lucky, but I’m not sure how lucky it is when they’re coating your front door like polka dot paint. Mom says we’re moving.